Hub likes to tell me to cook vegetables whenever I prepare a meat dish and while I know that I ought do just that, I hate it when people oblige me to to do anything. I hate it even more when he tells me how I should prepare my vegetables. It could of course be his commanding tone that gets on my nerves, let's just say that nobody bosses Lotus around.
He could have said, "Wouldn't it be lovely to have some cauliflower with the curry, my darling?" instead of that suspicious, "Are you not going to cook any vegetable to go with the curry?" Arrgh.
I wonder if it's a sexist thing because in our earlier days together, it always freaked me out that he would take whatever his male friends tell him at face value whereas if I or some other female tell him anything, he'll have this I-must-take-this-with-a-pinch-of-salt expression on his face. Needless to say that I'm not one to take things lying and I've given him a hard time for this. Men are basically very basic creatures. They have to be educated.
Anyway, I made a Beef Curry for dinner and our friend asked his usual question and tried to tell me comme d'habitude what vegetable I should cook and how to go about it. He wanted my Cauliflower Masala and Fried Bhindi. And that was when I decided to make Bhindi Pakora. Voilà. He should count himself lucky to have any vegetable at all.
I almost never order pakoras in Indian restaurants here because they would more often than not contain alot of batter and be very greasy. It's better to make your own (in your own way) in such situations. He enjoyed the Bhindi Pakoras and I expect to be hearing him tell me to make it the next time I make a curry...
Bhindi Pakora :
300g Fresh Lady's Fingers/Okra/Bhindi
1 cup mix of Chickpea and self-raising Wheat Flour (about 2:1)
1 Tbsp Corn starch
1/2 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 Tbsp Ajwain seeds
1 Garlic clove (minced)
1 Tsp Curry powder
1/2-1 Tsp Chilli powder
1/2 Tsp ground Garam Masala
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cool Water to bind
Oil for deep-frying
Wash and pat dry the okra with kitchen towels. Slice them into bite-sized pieces (e.g. rings).
Make a batter by mixing the rest of the ingredients together, making a well in the centre so that water could be poured in - in batches - to obtain the consistency that you want. Stir well to remove all lumps in the batter.
It may be easier to work with a thicker batter, but I use a spoon to drop my batter into the hot oil, so it doesn't really matter. I prefer my batter light.
Add the sliced okra to the batter and mix well. Using a tablespoon, scoop up a spoonful of the okra-filled batter and drop it into the hot oil. Fry till golden using medium-low heat so that the okra would be cooked, then remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. If you like it crispy (like I do) fry them longer, if not, keep an eye on the cooking. Whatever it is they are best eaten hot.